How to Smoke a Ham in a Smoker

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Things You'll Need

  • 2 tsp. dry mustard

  • 1 tsp. ginger

  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

  • 2 cups pineapple juice

  • 2 cups orange juice

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 2 tbsp. cinnamon

  • 12- to 15-pound ham

  • Charcoal

  • Meat thermometer

Outdoor smokers cook slowly over the course of several hours, resulting in tender, succulent meats. The smoked ham most people are familiar with is a pork loin that's been highly processed with sugars and brines. For a healthier ham, free of preservatives, try smoking an uncured piece of meat. While the taste is different than traditional ham, you may end up liking it better.


Step 1

Combine 2 tsp. of dry mustard, 1 tsp. of ginger and 1/2 tsp. of black pepper to create a dry rub for the ham.

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Step 2

Combine 2 cups of orange juice with 2 cups of pineapple juice for basting the ham.

Step 3

Prepare the 12- to15-pound fresh ham for smoking by rubbing the mixture of dry rub onto the surface of the meat.

Step 4

Fill the water pan for your smoker and place inside. Ham needs water throughout the entire smoking process, or it becomes dry.


Step 5

Light the charcoal in your smoker and heat to a temperature of 150 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 6

Place the ham into the smoker. The cooking process takes from six to eight hours to complete.

Step 7

Baste the ham every half-hour with the pineapple and orange juice mixture.

Step 8

Check the temperature of the smoker periodically. If it becomes too low, add some more coals.


Step 9

Check the water pan every two hours and refill as necessary.

Step 10

Add a small amount of the pineapple/orange juice mixture to 1 cup of brown sugar and 2 tbsp. of cinnamon. Coat the surface of the ham at the five-hour mark of cooking.

Step 11

Check the temperature of the ham with a meat thermometer around the six-hour mark of cooking. If an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit is reached, the ham is done. Leave it in longer, if necessary, periodically checking the temperature.


Smokers are meant for outdoor use only. Place the smoker at least 10 feet away from any building for optimal safety.

While it's best to use fresh meat, if you use a frozen ham, be sure it is entirely defrosted before placing it in the smoker. Because smokers cook at a low heat, a ham that isn't completely thawed will spend too much time in a harmful temperature zone where bacteria can multiply.